ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of collapse lung?

Question

What are the symptoms of collapse lung?

How can a person now if they have a collapse lung

Answer

If you feel like you do have symptoms of a pneumothorax then you should seek care immediately at an emergency department. A collapsed lung also known as the pneumothorax is a condition that occurs when air gains access to the space between the outside of the lung and the inside of the chest wall. This area is normally within a vacuum which allows the lung to stay inflated even when we exhale. When air is allowed to enter the space either through external trauma or trauma to the lung itself then that vacuum is no longer present keeping the lung inflated and it then collapses. The symptoms of a collapsed lung are usually shortness of breath and chest pain either on the left or right side. This chest pain usually comes on suddenly as does the shortness of breath. It also does not improve with time. The so-called tension pneumothorax is a condition that would likely also cause lightheadedness and potentially death. Again, if you feel like you do have symptoms of a pneumothorax then you should seek care immediately at an emergency department. The main treatment for a collapsed lung is the placement of a chest tube. It can be diagnosed with a simple chest x-ray that can be done in the emergency department. The chest tube typically can be removed after a few days and his long as the long stays inflated nothing else usually needs to be done.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.